Chocolate Cheese Muffins

 
I love baking muffins and eating them whilst hot.  Warm, steaming muffins oozing with melted chocolate or hot blueberry compote, chunks of spicy fruit and toasted nuts or even lemon zest and grated ginger. Any combination works. And all under 30 minutes.  As they are so quick to make, I usually bake them the night before and pack them for breakfast or eat one when three-thirtyitis hits. Given, muffins have a denser makeup than cupcakes but unlike the latter, you don’t have to wait for the butter to soften and there’s no need to cream the butter and sugar with electric beaters which means less washing!
 
And now to the chocolate cheese muffins. “Chocolate CHEESE??” I often hear people quiz. I can see the wheels spinning in their heads, trying to marry chocolate and savoury cheese. And a sigh of relief when I say “Cream cheese my friend, cream cheese”
Anyway, this is another Aunty Jane special and though I have no idea where the recipe originated from, these muffins are most certainly yummy to eat!

Here’s my version

Ingredients

for the muffin mix
165g Self-raising flour
25g good quality cocoa powder
120g (or 6 tablespoons) caster sugar
80g chocolate chips
70g unsalted butter
2/3 cup milk
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract/essence
pinch of salt

for the cream cheese
125g Philadelphia cream cheese – softened at room temperature
2 tablespoons caster sugar

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180◦ C and grease a 12 cup muffin tray (Only grease 7 of the cups). Alternatively, just line the tray with 7 muffin paper cases.
  2. Place butter in a small heatproof bowl and melt in the microwave for about 40 seconds.
  3. Mix the flour and cocoa powder and sift together into a mixing bowl.
  4. Add chocolate chips, sugar and pinch of salt.
  5. In the measuring cup containing the milk, add the egg and vanilla extract and lightly beat with a fork.
  6. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture, pour in the milk and melted butter.
  7. Fold the batter quickly until just combined. Do not overmix.
  8. In a smaller bowl, vigorously mix the sugar into the cream cheese.
  9. Spoon the batter in to fill half of each muffin case. Make a slight indent in the centre of each and with a teaspoon, dollop the cream cheese mixture on top.
  10. Top up all muffin cases with remaining batter to cover the cream cheese.
  11. Bake in oven for 20 minutes until muffins are slightly cracked on top.
  12. Let muffins rest for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool.
  13. Dust with icing sugar.

Note: Do not pour HOT butter directly into dry ingredients. You’ll end up with rocks. Wait for butter to cool slightly or to make things safer, pour the slightly cooled butter into the cold milk before mixing.




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